Friday, January 18, 2008

John Edwards’ Bid to Become the New Ralph Nader!

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Although I’ve primarily been an Obama supporter in this primary, I’ve also appreciated John Edwards’ contribution to the campaign dialog, and felt that he was a great candidate who would make a good running mate for Obama, on either side of the ticket!

Unfortunately, with his response to Obama’s invocation of Ronald Reagan, Edwards is rapidly moving into “Ralph Nader” territory by using the same speech over and over, regardless of the situation. If he proceeds to finish a distant third in Nevada and South Carolina and does not drop out of the race, he will have completely blown up any bridge to my respect.

Here’s an account of Edwards’ response:
Speaking at an event on Thursday, Mr. Edwards told the crowd that Mr. Obama used Reagan “as an example of change,” a description with which Mr. Edwards strongly disagreed.

“When you think about what Ronald Reagan did to the American people, to the middle class, to the working people,” Mr. Edwards said, adding that Reagan was intolerant of unions and the labor movement, he “created a tax structure that favored the very wealthiest Americans and caused the middle class and working people to struggle every single day.”

“This president will never use Ronald Reagan as an example for change,” Mr. Edwards added, referring to himself.
I’m not going to go into the details of why Edwards is wrong in his interpretation of Obama’s comment, but here’s a great analysis from Daily Kos.

My point is simply this:

Edwards does not listen!

He is so eager to jump into his tear-jerking speech about who “has to sleep under a bridge or on a grate” that he completely ignores the fact that Obama never said he agreed with Reagan, only that Reagan changed things – mainly by inspiring Democrats to consider voting (unwisely, in retrospect) for a Republican!

Edwards is so quick to jump at any opportunity to twist things around to fit his pre-packaged emotional appeal that his speeches have begun to sound just like the fear mongering we hear from the GOP, only from the other side of the political spectrum! More and more, he is looking like a caricature of the typical ambulance chasing attorney, who spins the same argument over and over and over, even when it doesn’t fit the facts.

Because Edwards doesn’t bother listening to the facts.

He just wants to give his speech!

In a highly controversial piece last week on Huffington Post, Lawrence O’Donnell wrote that “John Edwards is a Loser!”

I thought O’Donnell was being unfairly harsh at the time, because with only two states in the books, I thought it was too early to expect Edwards to pack it in! From what I’ve seen lately, I’m afraid O’Donnell may turn out to be right!

1 comment:

  1. Lost Wages Joe4:23 PM

    Sorry, seenos; I ain't buying the Nader comparison. There will be no Nader in this race unless and until someone (Bloomberg? Gore? Nader himself?) jumps-in as a 3rd party candidate and gets enough votes in enough states that would have gone to someone else, and thereby alters the outcome of the race.

    Edwards is, unfortunately, just doing what politicians do, mischaracterizing the statements of his adversaries to make them look bad. Obama made a good point in his allusion to the Gipper, but strategically, he made it too soon. He should have saved that for the general election, when independent and crossover votes make all the difference, and most Democrats have more or less committed to vote for him regardless of what he says. "The base" (ooh look; I'm a pundit!) of the Dems don't like Reagan any more than the wingers like Bill Clinton, and it's the base he's fighting for now. Saying anything that can possibly be construed as complimentary towards Reagan (the base remembers that Reagan's administration was ALMOST as amoral and corrupt as W's) before the nomination is sewn-up is an invitation to exactly the sort of misinterpretation that neither Clinton nor Edwards can resist.

    As to Edwards not listening, again, I think you could make the same statement for any of the candidates. Edwards has his humble beginnings/anti-corporate spiel, Obama has his "change" speech, Hillary has her "experience" pitch, Rudy has 9/11 (and you think Edwards sticks to his theme!), McCain has his "maverick" crap, Huckabee is proudly vertical, and Romney has... good hair? I don't know, I'm sure he has some sort of theme. The point is, they all have their talking points, and they're all coached to stay "on message".

    And by the way, the O'Donnell piece was crap. There is no possible outcome of this race that will make that article "right", or less crappy (O.K., there goes my pundit career; it was nice while it lasted).

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